Building upon a gateway course, students in the major design a concentration of upper-level courses (often following either a social science or humanities track) and conclude with a senior seminar capstone. Our majors work closely with faculty advisors who encourage students to pursue academic honors by writing a senior thesis and to pursue pre-professional internships. Our two interdisciplinary minors, one in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and the other in Sexuality and Gender Identity Studies, are open to all students from across the UVM community.
One major, multiple perspectives.
The Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program at UVM offers students an opportunity to think about sex, gender, gender identity and other forms of difference over time and across cultures. The students and faculty of GSWS draw from the social sciences, the physical sciences, the humanities and creative arts to pursue research on questions about gender (the social meaning of the distinctions among sexes) and sexuality (sexual identities, discourses, and institutions). We ask: How have gender and sexual roles been created? How and why are they sustained? Who has benefited from these roles and who has been disadvantaged? How have experiences of sex, gender, sexuality, and gender identity differed by race, (dis)ability, nationality, language, social class, sexual identity? How have these issues changed over time? In what ways are they experienced differently in the United States and in other countries?
Education of an advocate
Charlie Parker Gliserman of Round Lake, N.Y., engaged their passion for social justice through majors in gender, sexuality, and women's studies (GSWS) and political science at UVM. This May, they accepted the GSWS Outstanding Senior Award for a student who “embodies a combination of theory and activism, as well as for academic excellence in GSWS.” After graduation, Gliserman began work at the Center for Reproductive Rights, supporting development and legal work in the New York City office.
In high school, Gliserman began learning lessons about leadership and activism as a student, faculty, and administration senator, then as its president their senior year. They also led diversity trainings through A World of Difference and advocated for comprehensive, LGBTQ+-inclusive sex education curriculum.
At UVM, they gravitated towards GSWS and political science as a perfect pairing of majors to pursue their interests in LGBTQ+ advocacy and public policy. They further cultivated this interest through working at the UVM LGBTQA Center and interning at the New York State Assembly in Albany, N.Y., Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in Colchester, Vt., and the U.S. Congress and Human Rights First in Washington, DC.
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